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Magpies confirm permanent Dúbravka deal

Newcastle United have completed the permanent signing of Slovakia international goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka.

The 29-year-old becomes the Magpies’ first signing of the summer on a contract to June 2022 after the club activated its option to sign him.

Dúbravka initially joined the club on loan from Czech side Sparta Prague in January 2018 and he quickly became an important member of Rafa Benítez’s squad.

He kept a clean sheet on his debut with an impressive performance in a 1-0 home win over Manchester United and went on to make 12 Premier League appearances as the Magpies finished tenth in the top flight.

Manager Rafa Benítez said: "We’re delighted to finalise the permanent signing of Martin to Newcastle United today.

"Ever since he arrived with us on loan he has shown a fantastic attitude and great work ethic, and of course we have been very impressed with his performances for us on the pitch last season.

"This was one of the key positions we had identified we needed to strengthen and had been concerned about, so it is excellent news that we are able now to sign him on a permanent basis.

"The loan deal with an option to buy was the perfect deal for the club.

"It is credit to Lee Charnley and also Steve Nickson for putting that in place because it gave me and my staff the opportunity to look at him and work with him and see how he would perform for us before committing to signing him permanently.

"It has been very good business for the club and we now say congratulations to Martin and look forward to having him with us for the long term at Newcastle United."

Dúbravka began his career with hometown club MŠK Žilina and featured in the 2010/11 Champions League.

He spent two years in Denmark with Esbjerg fB, before moving to Czech side Slovan Liberec ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.

After making 28 appearances for the Modrobílí, he joined domestic rivals Sparta in summer 2017 and joined the Magpies initially on loan at the turn of the year.

Dúbravka has been capped ten times by Slovakia, and played against England at Wembley in a qualifier for this summer's World Cup.

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